By Wayne Caswell, founding editor
UPDATE 3/24/2017 — Republicans could not secure enough votes within their own party to pass the American Health Care Act. So Republican leadership and President Trump decided to pulled it. While repealing Obamacare would partially fulfill a campaign promise and give tax break to wealthy benefactors, it would also steal from the Medicare Trust Fund, gut Medicaid, and kill thousands of Americans by leaving them without health care. Pulling the bill was a better option than facing angry constituents, 85% of whom were against it.
As a left-leaning consumer advocate focused more on policy than politics, I’m glad; but now Congress must find ways to shore up Obamacare insurance exchanges. Too many healthy people have stayed out of the private insurance market, choosing instead to pay the tax penalty. Too many older and sicker people were left, and that caused insurance companies to lose money with the policies they offered. The mandate penalties were apparently too low to convince healthy people to sign up, so fixing that should not be difficult. But it may take bipartisan agreement, and that will be a challenge. I continue to support Universal Healthcare as a better system.
Here at Modern Health Talk, I can’t avoid getting political when it comes to healthcare. If you follow me, you know that I’ve been critical of both Obamacare and the medical industry, which spends three times as much on lobbying as the military industrial complex.
I’m all for replacing Obamacare with a single-payer system that cuts our $3.5+ Trillion/year spending in half and improves outcomes to match that of other advanced nations who provide healthcare as a right and pay half of what we pay (per capita or as a percent of GDP). Unfortunately, the American Health Care Act (AHCA) just shifts the financial burden to the poor, disabled, and elderly while giving a huge tax benefit to the wealthy. Read More …